The Pandemic’s Effect On Urban Crime In India

Losing employment and money contributed to the rise of crime in India

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Jinit Parmar
Jinit Parmarhttp://jinitparmar.blogspot.com
Journalism graduate, writes about politics, crime, global affairs, music and more.

INDIA: As India was preparing for a long-term pandemic, it did not stop the rise of crimes across the country.

The national capital, Delhi, which is often considered the most dangerous city in the country, witnessed around 2000 cases of crime during the crucial lockdown period from March 15 to March 31.

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Due to COVID-19, many Indians had lost their jobs, and some had to resort to their native places. Mostly the salaried and daily wagers faced the wrath of the pandemic. Financially, citizens had to incur an immense loss. Losing employment and money contributed to the rise of crime in India.

During the 4-month long total lockdown period, a lot of crimes were witnessed around the country. Not only the rural and semi-urban towns had documented crime, but urban cities also contributed fairly to the list of criminal cases. With cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Chennai badly infected by COVID-19 and mass unemployment, criminal cases rose badly.

Rise in unreported crime

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According to the reports, urban centers of the country had more unreported cases than the reported cases.

Thefts and harassment were becoming a common thing and many of them were under-reported or went unreported. The cases in the mega-cities rose tremendously, which became a tense situation for the police department to handle. Several victims were told to solve the disputes in the initial stage. Due to this, citizens gradually lost faith in police and opted to not report the cases.

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Over 60% of cases in the Indian cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Patna, Lucknow and Kolkata were unreported, says a report.

Delay in justice

Delay in justice is fairly a very common thing in India, but during the lockdown period, it turned into a massacre. As courts did not function timely, the pending, and newer cases, were kept open. The delay in the judgments and the slow trial via video conferencing made things more and more complex.

Even gathering evidence and recording statements from the victims became hectic. As the cities were suffering from the lockdown, things turned from bad to worst. Excluding Supreme Court and the High Courts of the respective states, no common court and local courts were functioning at a promising pace.

These indirectly-motivated people to venture for newer crimes.

Political vendetta

Politics is very deep-rooted in India. As the number of active cases was rising in the country, the state governments were being toppled in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Politicians were not paying heed to people’s problems during the pandemic. Instead of this, they were busy matching their party’s flag with that of their masks.

State governments were being changed in the bigger Indian states and name-game of faults and cheating were being practiced in the rooms of the parliament. This resulted in violence across several cities in India.

Also Read: Gender And Caste Based Crimes In India

Lack of government assistance

Indians in the mega-cities were facing many problems and one of them being – lack of support from the government agencies. Things like a sudden spike in the electricity bills, increasing prices of goods and fuel, etc. made things uncontrollable for the urban tenants.

Citizens who were financially hit by the pandemic had to resort to some other sources of funds as the government turned a blind eye to them. This further eroded the lifestyle of the people. On top of that essential commodities like fruits, grains, oil, etc, ran out of supply or were sold in the black market for higher rates.

The state and the central government had completely ignored the core issues and solely focused on the top things.

Violators were freed

As jails around the mega-cities were already filled with inmates, the violators during the lockdown period were kept in temporary jails or were freed on bonds.

People who committed a crime were not taken into custody. A basic report and a background check were done, and later they were taken for a temporary jail term. This further eroded people in resorting to crime to satisfy their psychological and financial needs.

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